Lovell impressed by Hunt - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Lovell impressed by Hunt

By Darren Cartwright 25/07/2010 01:11:52 PM Comments (0)

The Gold Coast Suns may yet have the last laugh for recruiting code-hopper Karmichael Hunt following a glowing report card from St Kilda's AFL assistant coach Andy Lovell.

Lovell, who coaches the Saints' VFL affiliate side Sandringham and played 164 matches for Melbourne and West Coast, watched Hunt in action during the Zebras' 26-point loss to the Suns on the Gold Coast on Saturday.

Lovell said he had studied footage of Hunt's previous matches and was not expecting such a strong and impressive performance.

"His ability to win one-on-one footy in the back-half was really strong and when he got it he made some really good decisions with the ball," Lovell told AAP.

"He is powerful. That's the thing - he is so strong and powerful.

"The surprising part of it for me was that he showed some composure under pressure down back and he made some good decisions.

"We've seen a few of their games and he hadn't really shown a lot in terms of possessions or impact on the game but we knew his physical capabilities were high and strong.

"I thought his ability to make game-based decisions was really strong, so his advancement has been pretty good."

Hunt was clearly at ease running out of defence to create attacking forays and using his body and strength to great advantage in marking duels and contested loose ball situations against the Zebras.

Lovell said Hunt's skills were more advanced than he anticipated and said he would definitely play AFL at some stage.

"The more footy he plays the better he is going to get no doubt and he's going to get exposed to some pretty strong footy over the next 12 to 18 months and I think he can play," Lovell said.

Suns coach Guy McKenna said he would persist with experimenting with Hunt's development and move him to the midfield next week against Geelong.

But Hunt was not the only one to impress Lovell who praised teenager Rex Liddy for his rebounding defensive play and Brandon Matera, the son of former AFL player Wally and the nephew of former Eagles stars Peter and Phil.

"We had no one to handle Matera and he's just really smart and good overhead for his size and he is a natural goal kicker like the rest of his family," Lovell said.

"It's going to be a huge step up for them (the Suns) - the comparison between AFL and VFL is miles apart - but from what I saw they have the making of some very good players."

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